184. Doctor Manocha. Part two
His dormant spirituality reawakened after several decades of sleep around year 2000, when I told him that I have developed love for God, and practice meditation once or twice every day. He started pursuing God, in earnest. He had a deep attachment with Hindu religion, a deep love for Radha Rani (as a mother), Lord Krishna, and all the other Hindu deities. He also remembered what his deceased Guru had taught him. Very soon his love for Bhagwan (God) became so deep that mention of God’s name would bring tears to his eyes and his body hair would stand up. I remember, once he told me, that when he goes for weekly puja to the temple, he sits alone, separate from others, so that people should not be able to see tears rolling down his face, otherwise they would think that this ‘old fool’ has gone mad.
He really hated religious or racial bigotry. His father was Hindu, his mother had been born Sikh, and he studied in an Islamic school as a boy. He once had a vision of Jesus in a dream. He would often use the word Allah and rarely did recitation of Allah-hoo (traditional phrase in Islamic mysticism) too. He would visit gurudwaras (Sikh temple). One time when he went to a gurudwara, he saw penumbra of light around three persons, two were on the dais, and one was in the audience. This was his first and last experience of spiritual halos.
My brother became acquainted with a pious man who once a week or fortnight let his body be frequented by a spirit. During that time, he would give answers to needy person’s problems, free of charge. Dr Manocha submitted the question that when will he get his Guru? The spirit replied, “He already has his guru in the form of his maala (rosary). To find a live guru, he will have to do jatra (pilgrimage)”. Pakistanis are not familiar with Hindi words like maala and jatra. This pointed to the authenticity of the message. Dr Manocha later said that may be his maala was his guru, because it almost never left his hand; even in sleep he kept his maala wrapped in his hand. If he would wake up at night, he would start rolling the beads of his maala.
His personality was uncomplicated. He loved nature. One moonlit night as he stepped out of a building he was transfixed by the trees, the shrubs, and the flowers bathed in serene milky light. A security man was close by. Dr Manocha held the leaves of a plant in his hand and showed it to the man and said “Don’t you see God in these leaves?” the security man quickly left him. I mailed him the book “Living with the Himalayan Masters” by Swami Rama. He very much liked the book. It reminded him of the beauty and grandeur of Himalayas and of his life in the Himalayas as a young man. He did not like the philosophic part of my book (part one) and said that such matters were beyond him.
He had his share of spiritual wonders. Once he was watching a film on the life of Lord Krishna (or Ram). Leaving the film unfinished, he went upstairs to his bedroom to sleep. Before going to sleep, he made sure that the TV was off. After a while he felt a glow in the room. He opened his eyes, and was startled to find that the TV was turned on, and he film which he had left incomplete was running. There was no connection between the two TVs. He immediately realized what had happened and loudly exclaimed, “It is a miracle”
One time he was idly looking at the starting bead of his rosary, which is always bigger than the rest. Suddenly it multiplied into two, and after a few more moments into three. As he was watching in amazement, the three pieces detached themselves and got into air. He rubbed his eyes to make sure that he was not hallucinating. Suddenly a fear entered his soul. He loudly said, “That is enough Bhagwan”. Everything reverted to normal.
Once, as he entered into a temple, he saw a murti (statue) of Lord Vishnu on the stage. As he paid homage to the Lord, a sudden wave of blessing came out of the murti and hit him. The bliss was marked and palpable. It lasted for three days.
Not too long ago he went to India and visited holy sites. He visited the Amarnath cave, in Kashmir, one of the holiest shrines of Hinduism. It is located at 12,756 ft. He was exhausted by the climb. The pilgrims touch their foreheads to a certain holy stone in the cave. As he rested his head on the stone, waves of indescribable bliss enveloped him.
He had two visions of prophet Muhammadpbum, both times in dreams. In the first vision the holy prophet was sitting on a mat or something. A black blanket was wrapped around him. He had a thick beard of white and grey hair. His head was covered with a black turban. His face had pitted scars on it. Dr Manocha thought that Hazoor (a title of respect) must have suffered from small pox sometimes. He watched the holy prophet by walking in an arc. As he watched, he realized that those pits were emitting light like stars. Second time he saw prophet Muhammadpbum from a distance. He was walking with a group of people. When he visited India, he specially went to a shop and bought a black shawl.
Few years ago, he had tremendous spiritual progress. He started going into Samadhi, once or twice a day. It would last for ten to twenty minutes. Sometimes he would be completely oblivious to time and space, other times he would be partly conscious of his surroundings. Sometimes his hands, feet and body would smell of sandalwood, a fragrance associated with Lord Krishna. He would experience deep peace during that time.
It came as a complete surprise to everybody concerned, when the Great Qalandar of Khyber Pass, who lived thousands of miles away from Dr. Manocha, and had no ordinary way of knowing Dr Manocha, acknowledged his spirituality ( see, Introduction; Part one ). He said; “And he(mkadk) has a Hindu friend, a good man, a pious man, a man close to Allah” (see footnote). There is no greater gift from God that a man can aspire than to be close to God, and Dr Manocha attained it.
In his final years in life, God gave him a sickness. It confined him to his house. It was a blessing in disguise, because now he could concentrate full time on his beloved Bhagwan.
Dr. Manocha did not have lofty spiritual ambitions. He was happy at where ever God put him. He never had restlessness and despair which some of the travelers on this path get, and which leads to the dark night of the soul, which St John of the cross (blogs 39-50) has discussed (1).
I want to repeat what I wrote earlier (blog 129):
When my brother asked the Great Qalandar that why my Hindu friend was given the gift of closeness to God, when he was so rich, had never performed any penances and austerities, and had never quit the world (tiag). The great mystic gave the surprising answer, “These things do not matter. He got it because of some spiritual site (which he visited). There are sites in the world where you get grace (of God). Consider Jerusalem, holy to three religions”. Although in this mote’s opinion he got the grace of God (from the site) because he loved God, perhaps, as good as anybody else.
Footnote. He used the word Allah and not Bhagwan, implying that Allah and Bhagwan are the same.
(1). The dark night of the soul, by St John of the cross. Translated by Allison Peers